It’s a pretty common sight in most neighborhoods across the United States (and other countries) to see people parking work vehicles at home. But, there are a lot of unexpected issues you need to be wary of.
Say you’re a contractor with a van, an employee with a marked company car; or fleet driver who has to park a company vehicle at your home. You may think doing it is pretty harmless; parking work vehicles at home, that is. Unfortunately, for good or bad reasons, it’s not as simple as you may think.
But don’t fear, because we’re here to highlight a few key things you need to consider. That is, if you’re going to be parking work vehicles outside your house.
Parking work vehicles at home: a introduction
For anyone with a company vehicle, it is more often that not, vital to you livelihood. And of course at the end of a rough – or not so rough day – you want to park it outside your house; or as close to your home as possible.
Here’s the thing. Firstly there are a few legal regulations about parking work vehicles at home to bear in mind, before you do decide to go ahead and just do it. We’ll come to those. The more challenging aspect is that the fact that although you may love your van/car/truck, there is a chance that your neighbors may not.
But why should that be a problem? I know, it’s difficult to fathom. Firstly, why should they care? Well, depending on the size of the vehicle in question, and if it takes of place on the street, or is branded in a certain way that some may consider it an eyesore, then you can see that straight away some issues are on the table. Or, perhaps, the driveway would be a better analogy this time.
So you see, things are not quite as easy as they may seem. It can get complicated. But like we always say, there’s nothing like being prepared. So, here are a few things to look out for when parking your work vehicle at home.
A few legalities and neighborly issues
OK then, of course before you do anything with any type of commercial vehicle, the first thing you need to look to, is the rule book. Or in other words, check local city/state legal regulations. They may differ, depending on where you live or operate your business.
As you might expect, there are a few practical and important ones to bear in mind.
- All vehicles parked outside houses or on street parking must display license plates
- Check to make sure in advance that your company actually allows you to park at home? You need to check this to avoid any potential company van tax issues
- Check with the insurance company to ensure that the vehicle is covered if kept at a specific address overnight or for prolonged periods regularly.
- Make sure you check any parking restrictions on your street as they may limit the use of spaces for cars and not commercial vehicles. Even if you also your vehicle for personal use.
- Something that is not so well known is that if your vehicle weighs over 2500kg and is parked on the street between sunrise and sunset, it must be left with its lights on. The same is also true of any passenger vehicle with more than nine seats.
- Commercial vehicles – vans in particular – must be parked in an authorised parking space or a marked lay-by. And it must be further than 10m from a junction.
- Remember, all vehicles should also be parked with their nearside close to and parallel with the nearside kerb. That’s any easy one to forget after returning home following a tough day and you’re in a hurry
Covenants and neighborly solidarity
To be honest, if your parking your vehicle in a driveway or in a garage, you should not come across any of the above issues. That said, it’s still worth checking your house deeds. See if there are any enforced covenants or planning restrictions that prevent the parking of commercial vehicles at your property.
Last but not least, those pesky neighbors. Local councils often get complaints from residents in relation to commercial vehicles. Always have this in mind. A few popular factors to look out for are:
- The size, design and number of commercial vehicles at a property
- The position of your vehicle and its proximity to adjoining properties
- Its effect on the appearance of the local area
- The times at which your vehicle arrives at your property and departs
What if I ignore any of the above?
It’s safe to say that if you don’t take these things into consideration when parking your work vehicle at home, you will run into problems. There are several possibilities. For example, if the vehicle can be towed away, it will be towed. If the tow truck cannot reach the vehicle, the property will be periodically reinspected for compliance. Re-inspection fees will be assessed to the property owner and if unpaid to the tax bill. Citations may also be issued to the property owner. If the local municipality or city has to tow the vehicle, it won’t be cheap! The average tow bill in the US is about $270.
Let’s face it. Apart from the inconvenience and costs it can involve, you also probably do not want an unsavory issue like that to affect your business; in terms of reputation, too.